Discover Turner's Yorkshire

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  • Mossdale Falls

    Mossdale Falls was one of the remotest sites visited by Turner as part of his 1816 grand tour. He arrived late in the afternoon of Saturday 27 July before staying the night at the Green Dragon Inn in Hardraw. Mossdale is now a little-known complex of falls at the very head of Wensleydale, about eight miles north west of Hawes. Mossdale Beck tumbles down a number of falls on the north flank of Widdale Fell.

    1816 was one of the wettest summers on meteorological record and the falls must have been particularly impressive when Turner saw them. While in Turner's imagination the falls have taken on a grandeur perhaps more appropriate to the Alps than the Pennines, this was (and still is) remote and dramatic ground, and in vivid weather as sublime a landscape experience as one could wish for.

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  • Nappa Scar, nr Askrigg

    The fells above Nappa Scar were visited by Turner as part of his July 1816 trip to Askrigg, located 1.75 miles away.  This area, north east of Askrigg, offers stunning views over Wensleydale.

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  • Newby Hall

    Turner visited Newby Hall in 1816, probably sometime towards the last week of August whilst working his way towards Ripon from York, having probably stayed overnight at Boroughbridge.

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  • Otley Chevin Forest Park

    The views across Wharfedale from Otley Chevin and Caley Park were among Turner's favourite subjects. It is arguable that, for a time at least, this scenery was the most important in the world to him.

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  • Ouse Bridge, York

    Turner sketched around York on two major occasions. In 1797, these were some of the most detailed and important sketches that he made on this tour, and included the river and Ouse Bridge as well as St Mary's Abbey and the Minster.

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  • Pickering Castle

    Turner visited Pickering in 1801 on his second grand tour of the north, where he is reputed to have stayed at The White Swan in Market Place. His main destination that year was Scotland, but on the way he took in some of the sites of north-east Yorkshire that he had missed on his first visit in 1797, including Rievaulx, Pickering, Scarborough and Whitby.

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  • Plumpton Rocks

    Turner painted two oil paintings of Plumpton Rocks following his first visit to Yorkshire in 1797.  They were commissioned by the 1st Earl of Harewood, who owned the estate of Plumpton Rocks at that time, to hang in the Saloon at Harewood House. These were his first commissioned landscapes in oils and he charged the Earl a little more than £32 for the pair. Although this was still quite a large sum (the equivalent of a few months' wages for a labourer), within a few years Turner was so successful, he could charge twenty times that amount.

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  • Ravensworth Castle

    Turner visited Ravensworth in 1816 during his extensive tour of Yorkshire to collect material for the history of York series. He passed through Ravensworth on Wednesday 31 July, having spent the previous couple of nights in Richmond. He was travelling alone and on horseback, headed for Greta Bridge and Teesdale, but conditions were far from ideal for sketching. Before he left Richmond he wrote to a friend that the weather was miserably wet.

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  • Richmond Castle

    Turner was only 22 on his first visit to Richmond in 1797 and at the outset of his career. He toured Yorkshire looking for subjects with which to enhance his growing reputation as a painter of romantic abbeys and castles. 

    Richmond Castle is the invariable subject for Turner's major compositions of the town. It is breathtakingly sited on a rocky promontory above the River Swale and is among the oldest Norman stone fortresses in Britain, begun around 1071.

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  • Rievaulx Abbey

    Turner visited Rievaulx at least twice. His first visit was in 1801 on his second tour to the north, followed by another trip during 1816 when he was collecting material for a series of illustrations for his Whitaker commission.

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